Bio (the real one)
By the age of 30 I had completed my PhD and had lasted exactly three years as an assistant professor before succumbing to my own restlessness. Against colleagues’ warnings, I traded my faculty status for that of professional staff and joined the University at Buffalo in 2003 in a vague and poorly defined role. For the past 14+ years, I have navigated institutional structures (including Provost, President, External Affairs and decanal units) with the goal of mobilizing the University’s riches in support of the greater good. As the most comprehensive research institution in the New York State System, I knew we had a wealth of to offer. Over the years, my quest has resulted in a number of innovative roles- liaising with the local urban school district, working directly with community leaders, and starting a center to facilitate cross-campus collaboration. And although I enjoyed some success, my failures were much more interesting, revealing daunting structural barriers and constraints. The latest leg of my journey, however, has proven the most promising, and is giving me great hope for higher education as an engine for social change. As Associate Dean for Experiential Learning, I support and design innovative engagement models while collaborating with faculty from across the university. In addition to this work, I am an avid writer, speaker, mentor, and leader of travel-based courses with a personal affinity for the Mara Region of Tanzania, a very underdeveloped yet wonderful area in northern Tanzania which I have been visiting and engaging with since 2009.